The Bronco is officially back – and here's what we know so far.
Fans have been waiting a long time for Ford to revive the Bronco nameplate. The SUV left the market in 1996, but it never truly left the hearts of the enthusiasts who loved it. In 2020, we’ll see a new one. Ford confirmed yesterday at the Detroit Auto Show that the iconic SUV will be back on the market, produced locally at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant.
What is it?
Like the Jeep Wrangler and all good off-roaders before it, Ford says that the new Bronco will be a real, no-compromise, body-on-frame 4x4. According to Product Development Chief Raj Nair, it will reportedly share its frame with the Ranger pickup, which will make its U.S. debut just a year earlier. With the Jeep Wrangler switching over to aluminum for 2018, we assume the Bronco will follow it and its F-150 sibling and do the same.
What will it look like?
Well, we’re not exactly sure. Our initial rendering proposed a Raptor-based design, but our most telling sign could come by way of Reddit (via Road & Track). An anonymous, but verified, designer at the Ford Development Center in Dearborn said that the new Bronco will be "very similar to the current Ford Everest," apart from a minor facelift.
The Everest is a five-door SUV based on the current Ranger platform that is currently available in markets exclusively outside of the U.S. and Canada. It was designed in Australia, built in Thailand, and uses a range of Duratorq diesel engines. If true, it would be a far cry from the original Bronco – something closer to the Troller is what most people were expecting.
What’s under the hood?
It’s safe to assume that Ford will probably drop an EcoBoost under the hood. The company put one in its Raptor off-roader and GT supercar, after all. It should produce somewhere in excess of 300 horsepower and pump out a healthy amount of torque. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for a new diesel engine, as is being introduced in the 2018 F-150, but Ford is likely to drop the more-than-10-year-old Duratorq from its range.
Where will it be built?
Both the Ranger and the Bronco will be produced at Ford’s plant in Wayne, Michigan. But Australia is where most of the engineering and development will reportedly take place, specifically at Ford’s Asia-Pacific Engineering Center in Victoria. The new Ranger will also be developed down under, considering the two will share a shortened version of the T6 platform on which the small pickup is based.
How much will it cost?
With current conversion rates, the Australian-market Ford Everest would cost around $40,000 in the U.S. (approx. $53,000 CAD). Given that production will be moved to Michigan, and relative competitors like the Wrangler and 4Runner average closer to $35,000 (approx. $46,000 CAD), we can guesstimate that the Bronco will do the same – dropping its starting price to the low- to mid-$30's USD.
When will we see it?
Ford has the Bronco on track for a 2019 debut, likely going on sale for the 2020 model year. We expect to see it on display at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, if all goes as planned.